On Welfare and Christianity: The Issue – Part 1

So today’s 25 words fit in with my topic. God is good!

1 Corinthians 12:27:

27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.

This post will be a combination of talking about balancing one’s views, political and other, and bringing glory to God. It takes a lifetime to find the right tension. I’m going to attempt to show a good way to do so.

This post is a response to this thread on Facebook (I’m editing comments for readability, I’ve only added punctuation and corrected spelling):

Megan (status)
I’m ready to vote the food stamp president out in four days, who’s with me?

  • Kelbie: Uh some people actually need it lol. Some people that sell theirs don’t obviously…. But yeah ha so no…..an I don’t see no likes either….
  • Joshua: I liked it. And having your people rely on food stamps as opposed to actually working for their food like they should is drifting towards socialism. Whatever happened to people honestly putting in a day’s work to get money and food?
  • Kelbie: Expenses went up. I’m sorry but if ppl work a “hard days work” and still cant afford foor they need help with getting them……
  • Joshua: Gabby you communist hippy.
  • Megan: Actually I know plenty of people that do work hard, and do get by with food and bills and only work one part time job. Oh and the kicker, they don’t get help from anyone! Hahaha, but hey to each their own, I’m just tired of my taxes going to people that wouldn’t work if they could have a job. Not saying it’s everyone, just most people.
  • Gabby Kempthorne: Josh, Meg, we are also Christians. And food stamps and the dole help those who can’t work, like disabled people and old people. Mercy, love and graciousness is necessary in all areas, including how we vote. Read this, and remember to love. And Josh, that wasn’t very nice.
  • Kelbie: Yeah well make them pass a **** drug test. Oh wait, people fake illness everyday to get perscriptions. And I doubt it with one part time job affording everything. My car insurance was seventy bucks and has been, plus bills I couldn’t afford a house payment let alone food, and nobody helps me, I have stayed in my car before because my family shunned me, so yeah food stamps helps and part time jobs I have helps with car insurance that’s all.
  • Megan: Gabby, I understand that but I turned over 4 grand in food stamps today, and over half of the people didn’t even need them. Walking around in the store with big expensive phones, and shiny diamond rings… and then they scream at at you like it’s something they are owed :-/. It’s just sickening, yeah I am Christian which is why I don’t say anything, but the people that actually need it. Those are the people that I feel bad for, and don’t mind my taxes going to. I wish they would make them pass a drug test. The people that actually need it hold so much shame in their eyes and hearts when they speak to you they whisper food stamps and then look at you like please don’t say it out loud. I’m convicted by GOD to be nice to people, and show them the kindness of Christianity, but I don’t have to like where my taxes go.
  • Joshua: Gabby, its wasn’t being mean but it was being straightforward my sister. The issue here isn’t food stamps for the disabled or old people. It’s people our age who don’t work, aren’t looking for work and spend none of their time taking responsibility for their lives. Yes show compassion but also rebuke the brother who is in sin. It pleases God for people to work (or at least volunteer).
  • Megan: Or agree with how my government handles the system, and the money that we all pay into it. You know its really sad when seniors and people that actually need the help, get turned down for illegals, and people that don’t need the help, it happens everyday.
  • Gabby Kempthorne: Yes. I know. And I will rebut, but not on Facebook. I will do so on my blog. Remember Christ, who hung out with those who we would hate now.
  • Joshua: Gabby you are amazing. Peacemaker and disarming in your speech and actions. A blessing to the world to be sure. Even though at times you can be annoying with what you say. Like now.
  • Megan: I love you Gabby Kempthorne, and I miss you so much. You’re right, but even Christ knew when someone was in the wrong, and He wasn’t afraid to say anything. The problem today is that too many Christians back down because they are afraid of hurting people’s feelings when they are in the wrong. They don’t even stand up for themselves any more or their religion (though I know that you do). Just saying Majority wise, Christians have became quiet within their actions.
  • Kat: My cousin is on food stamps, she has two part time jobs and she’s raising 3 kids by herself, and one’s over 18 so she can’t get tax reducs for them and none of them have health insurance except for the young ones. And with her always gone there’s no one to watch the kids but the grandparents since the dad is a dead beat, and the mom still needs money to help pay for the kids’ food, clothing, school stuff etc… So I think they just need to crack down and give food stamps to families that really do need it. Instead of letting people whom have like 16 kids, they have no jobs and don’t even try to find work get food stamps and I know a lot of women whom have over 6 kids they lay on their asses and still collect food stamps, welfare and they have never worked a day in their lives and they have better lives then the hard working moms and its not fair.
  • Megan: That’s what I’m talking about Kat. Finally someone gets it.
  • Kat: lol yeah xD I mean these people could have hundreds of thousands of dollars and still get food stamps, welfare etc and even get more then the people that actually need it just because they have like 4 more kids and I’m like……it’s so stupid.
  • Katie: Yes!
  • Jazmyn: You know, I wouldn’t have food for my family to eat if it wasn’t for food stamps…

Evidently this is a field fraught with mines.

Let me tell you a little about my political views. Once upon a time I was a die-hard Liberal (that’s the Republican equivalent to you Americans). I was against welfare, against immigrants, against anything that I perceived as “limiting my own freedom”. I still rail against certain laws that limit my freedom, but that’s another subject. Suffice to say, I was firmly in the right wing political camp.

Until I began to read the Bible properly.

In particular, 1 Corinthians 13 (the infamous “love” chapter), James 2:1-13, and Jesus’s own teaching.

In short, what I took from these passages is that we, as Christians are to love unconditionally those who are sick, injured, poor, widowed, orphaned, unemployed or not educated enough to get a job, being partial to none of the above. In fact, James 2 calls partiality a sin, something to repent of! So obviously it is something to avoid.

So evidently we are called to love and serve those who cannot take care of themselves. How do we do this?

Love your neighbour as yourself“.

Paul says in Romans 13:8-10:

8Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbour has fulfilled the law. 9For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” 10Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.

Welfare is the way the government of both Australia and the US chose to fulfil this command (though without recognising that they are doing so). However, many, many, many people (especially political rightwingers) are against either the way their government hands out the help, or the food stamps, or the healthcare. And many are against the whole idea of welfare at all.

I personally am for welfare.

In the current economic climate, with unemployment on the rise and more and more jobs becoming automated or shipped offshore, there are a lot of people – in Asutralia, at any rate – who are claiming welfare. But there are many more who would benefit from welfare payments but are not earning little enough to qualify for it. For example, my friend’s family. There are four children, all of whom were initially homeschooled but now go to school as their mother had to go to work. She works often 12 hour shifts, and this barely covers the bills. Their father is unable to work. Quite often they struggle just to buy bread and milk.

I think that welfare is important. Don’t get me wrong, too many people are dole bums. But that is no reason to stop the welfare!

I’m going to bed now as it’s 10:45pm. Part two will be up tomorrow sometime. In the meantime, read Romans 13.

God bless you.

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2 thoughts on “On Welfare and Christianity: The Issue – Part 1

  1. While some of this is true, for a government to give out money and Welfare stamps like it is candy to illegal immigrants, People who have children just to scam the system and those who cry poor yet can afford the latest iProduct and fancy jewellery, no such benefits should be given. The point I was attempting to make is just that. I also dont believe that people deserve welfare if they do not attempt to look for a job. So when the dole in Australia required people to apply for jobs in person to get a signature I was happy. Something not too dissimilar in America would go a long way to help this as would mandatory drug testing for all that apply for welfare both before and randomly during payments.
    Also you need to edit out people’s names on these sort of things on the internet. 🙂
    Good read nonetheless, God bless and love you my sister in christ.

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